{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Ok… so kinda random question. I’m a HR professional, middle aged female, dress conservative and play the HR role and fit the “professional image” well at work. I REALLY want to get a full sleeve tattoo.. I’ve put it off because I’m afraid how it will affect my image in my professional world, but also feel life is short! Does anyone have any words of wisdom as to how this may affect professional growth being in HR?", "post_id": "62223789957e3400369e8ed3", "reply_count": 48, "vote_count": 3, "bowl_id": "5682e6afd55b9e0f00fce669", "bowl_name": "Human Resources", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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Ok… so kinda random question. I’m a HR professional, middle aged female, dress conservative and play the HR role and fit the “professional image” well at work. I REALLY want to get a full sleeve tattoo.. I’ve put it off because I’m afraid how it will affect my image in my professional world, but also feel life is short! Does anyone have any words of wisdom as to how this may affect professional growth being in HR?

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The way it is received will depend on your company culture. There will always be people that will have opinions about it, but you’ll have to make a decision on what matters more to you. I have several visible tattoos and just got a mid size forearm tattoo. One of my HR colleagues does as well and is in the process of getting a full sleeve. She and I had this conversation and decided being our full selves and getting these tattoos that mean something to us was something we wanted to do. We are both at higher levels in the organization but we feel our work speaks for itself and any company I want to work for should care more about my work quality and impact then my tattoos. Our colleagues have received it well seeing them also. So my suggestion is think about the work environment you are in and if others would be accepting and if not and this is still something you want to do - there are many other companies that would be accepting!

Well a lot depends on what kind of environment you work in, where you are geographically, and whether your organization has any policies around wearing and showing tattoos at work.

I am a senior HR person for a global cruise line and up until recently ships crew members were forbidden from having visible tattoos while in uniform. They had to be covered by the uniform or they would have to use makeup or cover sleeves etc. Men were not even allowed to have visible piercings while in uniform. Commercial airlines have had similar rules as well for their crew.

Well, my organization finally came to the realization of “how much time is being wasted policing this? How much time are line managers wasting writing up or coaching employees on this? And do the guests (customers) even care? NO! It’s 2022, the guests don’t care in the least about tattoos or piercings on employees and we don’t pay our managers to be traffic cops! So we basically ditched all the rules against tattoos and piercings with the only caveat that tattoos could not be offensive (swear words, nudity, violence, abuse, political symbols, hateful symbols).

Years ago I was that person that was dead set against front line employees having visible tattoos. Then I got one of my own. And I realized that the other people you interact with are likely far more interested in your tattoo, what it means etc.

Double check to make sure you aren’t violating any polices at your employer first. If you are, FIGHT to change the polices! 💁🏼‍♂️😎

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Hello HR Professional, As much as I hate to say it, it really depends on where you are located in the country. some areas are much more conservative than others. However, I agree with most of the responses that you need to be you and feel comfortable in your own skin. The questions should be more about what kind of company do you want to work for (if your current one is too conservative), do you have stability in your role or will there be fallout, how would you dress after getting one, will you be confident in your role or a promoted one with a FS tattoo. You need to look inside and see what you are comfortable with, if the full sleeve(fs) is for your personal lifestyle and you don't want to share it in your professional one, well blazers, jackets, sweaters, do a might fine job of not showing too much skin. If you get hot easily and wear a lot of short sleeves, than if you are comfortable, generally others will be too. It may take a little while to get comfortable in your work environment, but you will be amazed how quickly you will adapt . Ask yourself if you are ready and if so, then don't hesitate, look back nor have regrets. We all should work to live and not the other way around.

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Go for it! In this progressive, modern world, things like that don't affect the profession that much anymore

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While I may not be HR directly I do work within a people function. I have a full sleeve, and two sets of knuckle tattoos. Has there been things in the past that probably I got skipped over for because of that, maybe. But would I really have enjoyed working there? Definitely not. It does come back to what environment and industry you are working in. Larger, more established businesses, with lots of rigid structure and set ways of doing things may not be as favorable to those with body modifications. If that's where you'd like to work then consider getting tattoos places other than your arms. Otherwise, go for it! Let me know if you need good tattoo shop recommendations. :)

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How do you feel about wearing long sleeves at work all the time? Then I assume it doesn't matter. Otherwise your mileage may vary with some people having 0 problems and others upset. My guess is bosses may have more of a problem and the rest of the organization could look more favorably on you

likesmart

Sorry to be the wet blanket here, but the fact that you are asking the question means that you know the answer. It depends on the culture of the organization and the level of the position as to how it might impact your career. But, yes, image matters.

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I personally do not want to work for a company that something like that will hold you back. If you want it - do it!! Now tattoos are the norm.

My husband said the same thing to me when I go my nose pierced (thought it would hold me back from better positions, promotions, etc). It has not. And, again, I don’t want to work for a company that a piercing or tattoo would be a deal breaker.

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Get the tat, lance the ears, stud that nose and ride a motorcycle like no tomorrow! HR needs new age wake up call 📞 1901 was over long ago !

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I second that 👆🏽 if you died tomorrow how long would it take them to look for your replacements? Just ponder that when you’re making life decisions based on your careeer.

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Obviously make sure the tattoo is appropriate though 🤣

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Very good point lol.

Companies love to talk about “celebrating your authenticity” and “being yourself.” What better way to show up as who you are? Really weeds out the companies who just talk the talk vs walk the walk in my opinion. Be you and the companies who don’t like it are probably not the right fit anyways :)

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I have tattoos and wear band T shirts

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YES. Love a good band Tee.

I have full sleeves and tattoos on my fingers 🤘

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CPO here with tattoos and a nose ring. Go for it!

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Realistically the only people that will have a problem with this are the hardened veterans of your workplace who possibly have the corporate stereotype in their minds. The younger generation would look at this and think it’s a cool/ diverse workplace where you can truly show off who you are rather than hiding behind a formal attire.

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You’re probably wearing long sleeves the majority of the time anyways.

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Get the Tattoo !

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I feel like tattoos are becoming more and more acceptable. And you're right, life is too short. I say go for it. Worst case you wear long sleeves sometimes to cover it.

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I don't see any issue with the sleeve. You can always wear a cardigan/long sleeves if you need to cover up. And echoing the other points people made, also think about the environment you want to be in and if you can't be yourself there then find somewhere you can!

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I'm a recruiter in the IT industry and I'm not the only one on our people team with visible tattoos or colored hair. Luckily I work for a diverse company and in an industry that really is driven by individuality. Remote work and virtual interviewing helps as well. Not everyone is as lucky, I know!

Bias will always be there, but I think it's our jobs (especially in HR) to be the ones to change this type of mentality in the work environment.

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I would recommend you wear long sleeves if image is that important to you. I have worked with many HRBPs that have tattoos. I think the perception will vary by industry though.
Slowly but surely wear long sleeves more often, just often enough so when you get your tattoo, no one will say much about it.

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I say go for it. Life IS short, and it's your body. I think especially because you already have a positive professional image you'll be fine. Keep your work to the same standard and the only people that will judge you are the oldheads who judge everybody.

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I have two full sleeves. And my left hand I have two tattoos… Go for it.

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